Archive for tag: seminars

The End is Near

I hope everyone enjoyed learning about Johnny and Shehab in the Salvy Series the past two weeks! In the chiropractic profession, it's important to appreciate all of the different backgrounds students come from and focuses we have while going through school. I look forward to sharing my own Salvy Series blog closer to December!

View from the Salvation Army clinic on a beautiful October morning

The past few weeks of clinic, I have been passing off my patients to 8th and 9th trimester interns who are eager to get more hands-on with patient care! I've been keeping myself busy studying for Part 4 board exams in mid-November, working on my Illinois state license application, and studying material for my Nutrition and Functional Medicine courses that I'm currently enrolled in. With the University of Western States program, I am learning about gastrointestinal and immune system imbalances, classes that I find both incredibly fascinating and invaluable. We have always been taught in school that food itself is NOT medicine, yet eating a properly-balanced diet and incorporating a wide variety of nutritious foods can have a life-changing impact on your health! Making these lifestyle changes can be a challenge, so I'm enjoying using myself and my friends and family as guinea pigs before I'm in clinical practice!

View from the rooftop of my new apartment in Lakeview overlooking the city

For the month of November, I will be interning with Dr. Donald Owens (a 1992 National University grad) at the Illiana VA hospital in Danville, Illinois. I'll be moving down Sunday afternoon and preparing for my 4-week experience working with veterans. Fortunately, there is housing provided for me while I am participating in the internship, and I plan on returning on the weekends to Chicago for seminars, Part 4 boards, and the Thanksgiving holiday. November is already booked up, and before I know it, December will be here. Woah, time has flown! I think it's safe to say our entire class is eager for Week 15 to arrive! #DecemberDocs

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you from Danville, Illinois! :)

NUHS Homecoming 2015

One of my favorite times of the year at National is our annual homecoming weekend. Younger trimester students take advantage of the four-day weekend and break from classes, but once you're in clinic, it is so valuable to participate in the festivities!

With Alumnus of the Year Dr. Tony Hamm and Megan Procaccini

Dr. and Mrs. Ken Dougherty were kind enough to sponsor my attendance to this year's homecoming. Dr. Ken and his wife live in Florida, where he practiced for 28 years in his own private practice, and now serves the university on various committees.

With Brent Heitmeyer, Mrs. and Dr. Ken Dougherty

At this point in my education, I cherish every opportunity to gain free knowledge. The doctors that presented covered a wide variety of topics, and you can bet I was sitting there soaking it all up!

  • Dr. Georgia Nab provided an introduction to functional medicine, which was very exciting to me since she recently graduated from University of Western State's master's program that I am currently enrolled in.
  • Dr. Nick LeRoy discussed his success in treating cervical dysplasia through conservative measures, and I think it's safe to say that the entire room was in awe after hearing the dramatic improvements that conservative treatment can provide to different grades of cervical dysplasia.
  • Dr. Craig Morris spent an entire afternoon walking us through the progression of rehabilitation over the decades, and he gave us a glimpse of how dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS) can retrain proper motor patterns and through reflex point stimulation.

Homecoming photo
 With Dr. Erin Quinlan, my SA clinician

Homecoming photo
With Dr. Kristine Tohtz

The gala held on Saturday night was a perfect ending to the weekend. President Joseph Stiefel spoke of our university and recognized many individuals for their contributions to our university, most notably, the late Dr. Vrajlal Vyas. Although I never knew Dr. Vyas while he was still at the university, it was clear that this man made a lasting impression on students, faculty and friends within the National community. He was remembered through the words of Dr. Robert Shiel and inducted as the newest member of the NUHS Hall of Honor. We spent the rest of the evening eating a delicious meal, conversing with others, and dancing the night away.

Photo of Homecoming
With the university administration

A tremendous thank you to the alumni office for all of the time and hard work they contributed to making yet another homecoming weekend successful. I hope in years to come, I will be equally involved with our university and be able to pay it forward to future students at National! #TGIHomecoming15

A Week of Firsts

Just as the hype of boards has died down, I've been keeping myself plenty busy with activities at school!


This week at NUHS, we hosted our first Trivia Night for students, faculty and staff. Our very own Dr. Robert Shiel organized the entire event, being the trivia master that he is! Categories consisted of The Simpsons, Geography, U.S. History, Classic Movies, Art and Literature, Sports, Music, and Current Events since 2015. I was a member of the team "The Fighting Oxymorons," and we ended up earning 2nd place in the tournament! We hope to keep the tradition going annually!


Another first held this week was the Motion Palpation Institute's (MPI) first Sports Summit, held here in Illinois. Motion Palpation, or "Mo Pal" as we call it at school, is a national organization that teaches chiropractic students and physicians to analyze the spine by palpating for certain segmental restrictions and them adjusting patients to increase motion in those segments.


MPI is run by some of the country's best chiropractic physicians, and this weekend they all came together to present on various methods for treating athletes. We covered topics such as Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization, McKenzie Method, myofascial taping techniques, Functional Movement Systems of assessment, and a variety of soft tissue mobilization methods. All of these tools are widely utilized for assessing pain and dysfunction in athletes, and then finding ways to improve the areas of dysfunction and prevent further injury. Some of the greatest leaders each presented on their topics of expertise, and we as students had the chance to pick their brains and learn from all their clinical experience. We also had the opportunity to meet students from other chiropractic schools such as Palmer, Logan and NYCC.

It was a fun-filled weekend of listening and learning from some of the greatest minds in our profession, and it's always a great opportunity to add new experiences to our "doctor's toolbox" when treating future patients!

Webster Technique

In an effort to continue to expand my skills and techniques, I traveled to Columbus, Ohio, this past weekend to take the Perinatal Care: Webster Certification course of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association's diplomate program. This first module offers the opportunity to learn and become certified in Webster Technique, a method of diagnosis and treatment for correcting dysfunction in the pelvis of pregnant women.

Good morning from the beautiful city of Chicago!

The Webster Technique has been taught by Dr. Jeanne Ohm for over 30 years, and she has truly changed the lives of so many women with whom she has worked. The concept of Webster is to optimize pelvic function, alignment, and movement, in order to potentially decrease the difficulties associated with pregnancy and labor. The protocol consists of analyzing the direction in which the sacrum may be fixated, increasing motion in the pelvic joints, and affecting the correlated soft tissue structures such as muscles and ligaments. The technique has tremendous success with easing pain and challenges associated with pregnancy, so women are always searching the online database for local Webster providers. It is exciting to have earned my certification and be able to work with this population of patients! :)

The entire seminar was so inspiring. We discussed the changes in obstetric care over the decades and how chiropractic care can offer tremendous relief for women seeking alternative options during their pregnancy. It was so empowering, realizing that I am going to make these important changes in women's lives, and in the lives of their future children.

National has always been a very science-based chiropractic program, aiming to train its students as primary care physicians. Although we don't focus too much on the traditional philosophy of our profession, this weekend taught me how important it is to keep an open mind about this topic. Some chiropractic schools really focus on the concepts of innate intelligence and subluxation, and although National does not, Jeanne Ohm truly made a valid argument: Despite what each of us believes, she kept emphasizing that "Life is intelligent," and there is no reason to argue with that.

Two cells can come together and develop into a fully functioning human being. Pregnancy and birth have been occurring in our species since the beginning of time, and it is important to realize that the body truly does know what it is doing. Life IS intelligent, in that even before the development of modern medicine, miracles have been occurring naturally and without all of the interventions we use today. Maybe it's time that we take a different approach to the way we bring infants into this world, and the way in which we support a woman's natural ability to carry and care for a child.

McKenzie Method and Tri Mixer

McKenzie Method

Recently at NUHS, I attended a weekend course taught by The McKenzie Institute USA. This educational foundation has developed a method to diagnose and treat patients suffering with musculoskeletal pain originating from the spine and extremities. Robin McKenzie was the founder of this institution, which began researching disorders of the musculoskeletal system in 1982. Since its beginning, McKenzie Method was utilized primarily by physical therapists, but it has in recent years become more accessible to chiropractic physicians.

(Photo courtesy of The McKenzie Institute, New Zealand)

One of the most unique features of McKenzie Method is the concept that patients have the power and responsibility to help treat themselves through exercises and lifestyle modifications. This also adds a component of compliance to each patient's treatment plan, assuming that they will actively work to help correct and maintain proper posture and movement patterns. McKenzie treatment involves the patient in actively caring for their symptoms, which has an empowering effect that is able to eliminate pain for each person in the end.

I was enrolled in the Part A course, the first of the series toward certification that is geared toward focusing on the lumbar spine. With our class size of about 20 people, an even mix of both students and practicing doctors, we were able to work hands-on with two patients who were coming in complaining of low back pain. We practiced running through a McKenzie-based physical examination, taking a thorough history with the patient, and going through the diagnostic protocol that are used to help identify the classification of different pain presentations.

Once we were able to identify the type of mechanical back pain we were dealing with, we proceeded to work on exercises with each patient to help reduce and relieve their pain in different regions. The most rewarding aspect of the weekend was to see both of the patients leave the seminar with a reduction in their low back pain as well as in their radiating pain.

Getting to work with current DCs throughout the seminar was such a tremendous experience, and there was much clinical knowledge to be gained from these doctors! I even had the opportunity to meet Dr. Anthony Hamm, the current president of the American Chiropractic Association! In a couple weeks, we will be returning to complete Part A of the seminar.

Now that I am an intern in clinic, I'm beginning to hone in on what seminars I hope to take in the next year and what types of additional skills I want to obtain for practice. At National and in the Chicago area, there are so many tremendous seminars and certifications available for us as students. With all of the developments in the field of medicine, it will be valuable to have other skill sets such as McKenzie to offer to my future patients when I am in practice.



Last Friday night was our tri-mixer where all of the students were invited to come out and meet each other. As an officer for Student Council who helped plan the event, it's always fulfilling to see tons of students come and participate in social events! The cold and the snow can't hold us back from enjoying a weekend night out with friends (like my friend KC and I)! :)